Homeless on release from prison

What help is available for you?

If you are due to be released from prison and have nowhere to live, find out about services that could provide support and help you find accommodation. You could also apply for housing help as a homeless person.

Whilst you are in prison your Resettlement Officer will help you to find accommodation upon release. If they can’t do this, they will get in touch with the council to make us aware of your release date.

We will take into account if you have spent time in prison when assessing your vulnerability, even if it has been some time since you were released. We will also look at whether you:

  • Have a mental illness
  • Have a learning disability or physical disability
  • Have been in care
  • Have been in the armed forces
  • Are fleeing violence or threats of violence

Priority need for prisoners and ex-offenders

In some circumstances, we may decide you are ‘in priority need’ because you are vulnerable after spending time in prison or on remand.  This has a particular meaning for homeless applications and is not the same as being classed as vulnerable in prison. When considering your homelessness application, we will look at:

  • The length of time you spent in prison
  • If any support is being provided to you either by probation services, youth offending team, or drug and alcohol team
  • Evidence provided by any third party (including any housing needs assessment) about your homelessness vulnerability
  • The amount of time since your release from prison and how successful you have been in finding a home, and keeping homes you find
  • Any support networks you have, such as family, friends or a probation officer
  • Evidence of any other vulnerability such as mental health problems, drug or alcohol misuse, or a history of having been in care
  • Any other factors that might have an impact on your ability to find a home yourself

The fact that you have been in prison does not automatically mean that we should treat you as being vulnerable and in priority need for accommodation. We will need to look at the evidence carefully and be satisfied that you will find it difficult to find and maintain a home for yourself compared to other people who are made homeless.

Prisoners and ex-offenders treated as intentionally homeless

Our Housing Options Service may decide that you are intentionally homeless if you were evicted from your previous home because of criminal or antisocial behaviour or because of rent arrears resulting from your time in prison. However, we will still try to help you find a home by creating a personal housing plan with you.

Last updated: ‎15‎/‎04‎/‎2020‎ ‎11‎:‎23‎